Kay Soldier likes to write about the country town where she grew up. A former newspaper editor, the Windham resident continues to write a popular history column for a local weekly. Since she published “Memories of Windham” a decade ago, Soldier has been pestered about when she might release another work.

Soldier is pleased to announce that her next volume will be out this fall. “The Days Gone By” will include her own writings as well as those of others who have taken the time to document the town’s past.

A longtime member of the Windham Historical Society, Soldier has gathered geological information, photographs, old maps, as well as interviews with several residents who lived to be 100, for the project.

Soldier is the force behind the historical society’s website and could have put all of this online, but she decided to do this work in physical book form since she feels printing on paper is the only medium that will remain permanent. “Digital is fine, but it doesn’t last,” she said. “It’s always changing.”

That’s not just her opinion. A few years ago, a state archivist told her the same thing.

Her audience is wider than seniors like herself. Many have moved into old houses in Windham and are eager for information about them. Folks living along Route 202 between the Windham rotary and the Gray line will be especially interested in several pages Soldier will edit for the work.

Back in 1971, Charles Legrow wrote a history of every home along this stretch of road. Legrow, now deceased, compiled the histories for the historical society, but they were never published, only saved in the society archives. These writings will be published for the first time in the book and will be paired with recent photographs of the properties.

Between the start of the Great Depression and World War II, Kathleen Kelly was born in 1937 in a Windham farmhouse. When she was 18, the young Kelly had wanderlust and left her quiet country town for New York City. Fifteen years later, in 1970, she returned as Kay Soldier.

The population of Windham doubled in those 15 short years; today it’s at least triple what she recalls in her youth.

“I can remember what it was like and I think I ought to write it down,” she said.

It’s odd, but history wasn’t always her passion. Soldier said she had no interest in the subject during high school and possessed even little enthusiasm for the town itself. She liked culture, art, jazz, and generally having fun things to do. In 1955, Windham didn’t exactly fit the bill.

Soldier eventually returned to Windham and its history through writing. In the 1980s, in preparations for the 250th anniversary of the first settler in Windham-which used to be called New Marblehead, after Marblehead, Mass. — Soldier realized nobody on the committee had actually been born in town. She resolved to join the group, and that circumstance galvanized a passion that has never stopped.

“I’ve always liked writing,” she said. “I always liked English in high school, and I love to read.”

It appears she kind of likes her hometown, too.

The self-published book will be available solely through the author, who is taking reserved orders. The 100-page book is priced at $24.

To reserve a copy, contact Kay Soldier at 114 Tandberg Trail, Windham, Maine 04062. Or email at: [email protected]

Don Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Raymond. He can be reached at:

[email protected]